SWAN are pleased to announce the publication of the debut novel, Can Openers, by SWAN activist and shop steward, Mal Jones. The novel contemplates a future in which there is a comprehensively residualised and privatised welfare system. Can Openers is published by Rowanvale books, describe the book as a 'futuristic thriller [which] gives stark warning of where society may be heading'.

The novel can be purchased for £9.99 in paperback or for 0.99 as an e-book at the Rowanvale website. The book has already garnared a favourable review from the ResoluteReader blog, which states that '[r]eaders will want to keep reading though, not just because of the story, but because the world that the author has created is tragically believable.'

The publisher's lay out the story in more detail:

[The novel] 'raises concerns about the way the welfare system is run as a target-driven business, rather than as a caring and compassionate helping hand. This frustration is the motivation behind Can Openers, an intense dystopian thriller exploring our current systems and where they may lead us.

Every aspect of peoples’ lives are determined by a rigid framework set down by the authoritarian Dependency Department – a department that organises people by an evidence-based science. Believing the poor are feckless, and self-reliance should be encouraged, Frederick Smyth is approaching the peak of his career.

Currently the head of the district unit, Frederick’s ambitions of promotion are thwarted as a shocking and brutal murder turns his life upside-down.

This darkly comic novel is full of surprising twists that keep the reader guessing. Set in a near-future society where survival of the fittest is state policy, this novel is a stark warning of where our society may be heading.'

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SWAN put together a booklet on debates and issues raised by the Baby P events in 2009. The booklet runs to 116 pages and includes contributions from leading social work academics (including Peter Beresford, Sue White, Chris Jones), frontline workers, service users and trade union officials (from both Unison and Aspect). The contributions are all a response to a lead article by Iain Ferguson and Michael Lavalette.

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